MediaWatch

In This Issue Double Standard For Sununu; NewsBites: Touting Tito; Revolving Door: Democratic Convention Control; Marshall Loss, Thomas Gain Seen as Twin Threats; Liberals Admit Media Errors; Janet Cooke Award: ABC: Children's Crusade Double Standard For Sununu Since the days of Watergate, the national news media have assigned more importance to the executive branch than to the legislative. The media's logic is largely numerical: the President is elected nationwide, the legislators in much smaller groups. But this can lead to a double standard in news judgment concerning scandals, leaving perceptions of an executive "sleaze factor" while the transgressions of legislators... continue reading
In This Issue Covering Crime and Punishment; NewsBites: The Self-Employed Unemployed; Revolving Door: Taking Us to Court; Reporters Mourn End of Subsidies for Abortion Counseling; More Statistical Spin Control; Panning the Prisons; Two Views on Brutality; Janet Cooke Award: CBS: Quotable Quint Covering Crime and Punishment When President Bush announced his crime bill in early May, stories on ABC and NBC emphasized criticism for its focus on punishment, not treatment. To determine whether this was an isolated incident or part of a pattern, MediaWatch analysts examined a year of ABC, CBS and NBC evening news coverage of crime. Analysts found... continue reading
In This Issue Still Looking for Liberal Labels; NewsBites: Maniacal TIME; Revolving Door: Bucks for the Duke; New York Times Reporters Attack Reagan Policy; More Misleading Economic Reporting; Another Castro Whitewash; Janet Cooke Award: CBS: Brady's Bunk Still Looking for Liberal Labels Past MediaWatch studies on think tanks, environmentalists and abortion activists proved that reporters tinker with the credibility of political groups by regularly identifying conservative groups as conservative but refusing to label liberal groups as liberal. This time, MediaWatch selected a broad sample of smaller groups in specific issue areas, surveying every news story on 14 liberal groups and... continue reading
In This Issue Gumbel's Morning Gospel; NewsBites: Telling McGrory's Story; Revolving Door: Two Times A Nader; CBS Claims Millions of Kids Almost Starving; Address Dismisses Conservatives, Iraq War Victory; Joining Stahl's Quest for More Money; ABC News on Lee Atwater; Janet Cooke Award: CBS: Faking the Nation Gumbel's Morning Gospel NBC's Today does more than tell viewers what's happened in the world while they slept. Co-host Bryant Gumbel tells an unending story about the country's decline under Republican administrations, and how taxes must be raised and government expanded to correct that decline. To lay out the gospel according to Gumbel,... continue reading
In This Issue The Big Red Baghdad; NewsBites: No-Fault Press; Revolving Door: Surrender in the Desert; Time Writers Rant As C-SPAN Cameras Roll; Reporters Predicted Long, Bloody War; Arnett Bites; Janet Cooke Award: Palestinian Whitewash The Big Red Baghdad "There are lots of things that you can't report. If you do, you are asked to leave the country and I don't think we want to do that. I think you do a very valuable service reporting no matter what you are allowed to report." -- Baghdad-based reporter Betsy Aaron on CBS This Morning , February 20. Aaron's damn-the-content attitude best... continue reading
In This Issue Patriots Prove Media Myopia; NewsBites: Kudos for Quayle; Revolving Door: War Talkers; More Concerned About Selves Than Soldiers; Jennings Just As Wrong; Legitimizing Propaganda; Janet Cooke Award: ABC: Sanitized Protest Patriots Prove Media Myopia The world witnessed a dazzling display of American technological mastery when our Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) related Patriot missiles intercepted Iraq's Scud missiles. This success should cause great embarrassment to those in the media who spent years trying to discredit the centerpiece of Ronald Reagan's military modernization program. According to the conventional wisdom in the media, SDI was a waste of money that... continue reading
In This Issue A Look at Peter's Politics; NewsBites: Post Bombs; Revolving Door: Another Decade, Another Job; Magazines Call Bush a Captive of Conservatives; No Controversy in Collaborating with Communists; Reporters Slight Conservative View on Scholarships; Janet Cooke Award: CBS: Civil Wrongs A Look at Peter's Politics ABC's World News Tonight has finished first in the network evening news ratings ever since it surpassed CBS in 1988. At the forefront of this rise is Peter Jennings, ABC's urbane anchorman. The Canadian native's unpretentious delivery might lead viewers to consider him the least political of the three anchors. Over the years,... continue reading
In This Issue Nader's Media Evaders; NewsBites: Closing the Book; Revolving Door: Acting Up; PBS Producers Recall Korea Through Northern Sights; Post Reporters Love Cuomo and Jackson, Dislike Dukakis; More Hot Air from PBS; Janet Cooke Award: PBS: Planet Panic Nader's Media Evaders Perhaps no public figure in the last twenty years has been less subject to journalistic scrutiny than Ralph Nader. Despite a career of "public interest" lobbying for full public disclosure and strict government regulation, Nader has never been pressed by the news media to disclose even his street address. Not only do the media publicize Nader studies... continue reading
In This Issue Television's Budget Blunders; NewsBites: Sam in Swim Trunks; Revolving Door: Speaking for the Speaker; Reporters Tout Gantt's Liberal Campaign; Conservative Student Newspaper Under Attack; Bureacrat Bias; Janet Cooke Award: CBS: Number Juggling Television's Budget Blunders Network news correspondents often portray themselves as the watchdogs of government, but in covering the recent budget dealings, they served more as watchdogs for the government. If viewers wanted to know the daily details about what the White House and Congress were negotiating, the networks kept them informed. But in the midst of determining the winners and losers of the political maneuvering,... continue reading
In This Issue Remembering the Reagan Revulsion; NewsBites: Economy Socked; Revolving Door: Next Stop Cuomo Campaign; Reporters Despise Anti-Dukakis Candidate; Sad Farewells to European Communism & Socialism; Janet Cooke Award: Time: Rewriting History Remembering the Reagan Revulsion Journalists pride themselves on providing history's first draft on a daily basis. As the accomplishments and disappointments of Ronald Reagan's presidency fade into the past and head for the yellowing pages of the history books, will reporters provide a balanced account of accomplishments and disappointments, or will they just replay the anti-Reagan soundtrack of the 1980s? To answer this question, MediaWatch analysts used... continue reading